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Wonderful Word Names in this week’s name news

October 16, 2019 Clare Green

by Clare Green

This week’s news includes wild and wonderful word names, new Kardashian names, and how to deal with people asking what you’re calling your baby.

Wonderful word names: Slash and Sensei

Where else to start but with Slash Electric Alexander? That’s model Amber Rose‘s new baby with dad Alexander “AE” Edwards, and quite a style departure from her older son, Sebastian. Occasionally a name comes along that you just know is destined to appear on lists of wild celebrity baby names for evermore (seriously, Apple Paltrow Martin and Moxie Crimefighter Jillette are 14 already), and sure enough, it’s begun.

Slash is rare enough (and violent enough) that it’s never appeared on the US baby name charts. We’ll have to wait and see if it makes a debut in 2019, or has any effect on parents next year. If you like the energetic sound of this bold word name but want something less extreme, Ash, Cash and Dash are all popular, and a handful of daredevil parents have even used Flash.

More word names? But of course. In this family, with older half-siblings named Sonnet, Sky and Savannah, their little brother needed a word name too, so his parents turned straight to the S section of the dictionary. Should he be South? Story? Saracen? The final choice, Sawyer, fits the bill and is very on-trend as an occupational surname.

An occupational name you may never have never heard before: Sensei, named after his grandfather’s love of karate. This and so many more fascinating names and stories spotted on college football players. Oh go on, just a few more to whet your appetite: Tiger, Socrates, Marciano and Percise (no, not Precise). Read all about them here.

Unisex style: Charlie and Murphy

Amber Rose wasn’t the only celeb to choose a word name this week. Lauren Conrad and William Tell gave their son a cool animal name in the middle spot: welcome, Charlie Wolf! If it sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Zooey Deschanel’s son, who has the same name. But it doesn’t have to be just for the boys. Cheerful Charlie is one of the most popular unisex names right now, and Wolf, like many nature baby names, works for any gender.

If you’re thinking of using a gender-neutral name, or just wondering what it’s like to have one, you might enjoy this piece by a Murphy

She happens to be female but has a name that, like Charlie, is used almost equally for boys and girls right now.

Names from the east: Aryan and Ashkhen

Sometimes, a name can be both popular and problematic. Aryan is one, as this article reminds us. It’s an Iranian/Indian name with a rich history, it sounds like a male counterpart to popular Arya, and enough parents are using it to put it at #774. And yet, it’s also loaded with racist baggage. Where do you stand? Do you prefer any alternatives, like Ari?

In other news, several Kardashians recently got baptized in Armenia, where they have family roots. The best part of the story, for name-lovers, was that they received new Armenian names to mark the occasion. Kourtney‘s baptismal name is Gayane, Kim‘s is Heghine, and Kim‘s children got the names Grigor (for Saint), Ashkhen (Chicago) and Vardan (Psalm). So now they have middle names, of a sort.

Want to learn more about Armenian names? This post is for you.

And if you want a great read about how people use their names to reveal or conceal parts of their heritage, try this one, “What my name says about who I am”.

Boy baby names: the rough and the smooth

When you’re choosing a name, the sound matters. Do you want punchy dramatic consonants, or soft liquid ones?

The newest Duggar kid has the first kind of name: Amy Duggar King and Dillon King named their son Daxton Ryan. They announced the name months ago, explaining that it had to begin with D like his dad, so they chose Dax and then added an extra syllable.

Meanwhile, Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel went for gentle sounds for their son Myles. Like his big brother Hart and half-brother Flynn, it’s a name that is (at the risk of sounding like a toilet paper commercial) both soft and strong.

Keep ’em guessing

Finally, are you tired of people asking you what you’re going to name your baby? Try the Anne Hathaway method and tell them – with a straight face – something ridiculous, uncomfortable, and/or impossible to pronounce. (Her go-to name is Quandré.) Warning: if you’re speaking to a name nerd, this may not kill the conversation as you hoped!

Clare Green writes Nameberry’s weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world. Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.


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